Iain Duncan Smith dropped out of a hustings in his own constituency at the last minute, frightened of facing the sister of David Clapson, the diabetic former soldier who died after his benefits were cut.
IDS should have appeared on a platform with candidates from six other parties in Chingford, north London on Monday night.
Gill Thompson, the sister of David Clapson, was there to talk about how having his benefits stopped for missing an appointment had led to her brother’s death and to call IDS to account.
But, with just hours to go, IDS was suddenly called to “to the north-west of the country” for unexplained reasons.
According to the Daily Mirror, Thompson moved some in the audience to tears as she explained the circumstances surrounding her brother’s death.
“My brother died because of Iain Duncan Smith’s policies,” she said. “He wasn’t a scrounger. He was a former soldier. He died with a pile of CVs next to his body. He was a diabetic. After he was sanctioned he couldn’t even keep his insulin cold in the fridge.”
Just last week, we asked After Harper no-show on Newsnight, will IDS duck his benefits debate too? This followed DWP minister benefits stopped for missing an appointment’s last minute refusal to appear in a Newsnight debate on benefits.
It’s beginning to look more and more likely that the answer to that question will be ‘Yes’.
Source – Benefits & Work, 29 Apr 2015